Research & Updates

Outdoor Health Policy Update Feb 2022 – Anita Pryor

Over the last 3 years, with guidance from Aboriginal and specialist mentors Aunty Judy Atkinson, Uncle Ken Jones, Carlie Atkinson, Luke Mabb and Jacob Prehn, input from AABAT members and proponents of related nature-based health practices, and discussions with wide-ranging policy makers, the Policy Unit has progressed a number of specific goals and objectives. Consistent with AABAT’s roots, collaboration and consultation continue to be deeply valued and central to the work of AABAT’s Policy Unit.

‘Common Elements’ Literature Review

In 2020, AABAT’s Outdoor Healthcare Policy Unit sought Expressions of interest to contribute to a substantial literature review and published report. As a result of this Call, the Policy Unit arranged to supervise Deakin University Master of Social Work Student Josh McClean to undertake the proposed study. Josh’s Literature Review Report is in its final stages and will be released in 2021. The below overview illustrates our original hopes for the project.

Potential areas for collaborative research

Recent research demonstrates that ‘contact with nature’ improves human physical and mental wellbeing, and that ‘connection to country’ is vital for place-based peoples; perhaps all peoples. In recent times, mainstream Australians have become more aware of the physical and mental health benefits of time in nature, and many have become more intentional about going outdoors for health, wellbeing and healing.
The following list of hypotheses are supported and are yet to be comprehensively reviewed or trialled…